Saru drags its feet on nam­ing of se­lec­tors

CityPress - - Sport - HEN­DRIK CRONJÉ sport@city­

In to­day’s pro­fes­sion­alised game of rugby, the Spring­bok coach, his as­sis­tant coaches and the di­rec­tor of rugby must choose the na­tional group and fi­nal 23-man squad for tests.

This was Nick Mal­lett’s re­sponse to City Press sta­ble­mate Rap­port this week when asked about his avail­abil­ity if the SA Rugby Union (Saru) con­sid­ered him a suit­able can­di­date as a na­tional selec­tor.

“I prob­a­bly will not be avail­able for this rea­son and also be­cause I have lim­ited time,” said the for­mer South Africa and Italy coach.

Rap­port can con­firm that an an­nounce­ment by Saru about who the na­tional se­lec­tors will be in 2016 should not be ex­pected soon, fol­low­ing its ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing about the is­sue this week.

It is even pos­si­ble that no ap­point­ment will be made be­fore the end of March, which means that un­til then and dur­ing the Su­per se­ries South Africa will be with­out se­lec­tors.

This comes af­ter Saru sent let­ters to se­lec­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers Ian McIn­tosh and Peter Jooste, con­firm­ing their ap­point­ments ex­pired af­ter the World Cup. Saru also asked its pres­i­dents this month to nom­i­nate suit­able can­di­dates as se­lec­tors.

“The high-per­for­mance com­mit­tee this week pre­pared pro­pos­als in sev­eral ar­eas to be sub­mit­ted to the ex­ec­u­tive for its con­sid­er­a­tion in its com­ing meet­ing,” a Saru spokesman said. “The ex­ec­u­tive has the power to ap­point na­tional se­lec­tors, but the ap­point­ment of the coach must be rat­i­fied by the gen­eral coun­cil.”

Saru has con­firmed that the gen­eral coun­cil – com­pris­ing, among oth­ers, pres­i­dents and CEOs of its 14 unions – will meet on April 1.

Com­mit­tee mem­bers are Kevin de Klerk, James Stoff­berg, Fran­cois Davids and Pat Kuhn.

The Saru spokesman added that the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee could meet ear­lier if it con­sid­ered the ap­point­ment of se­lec­tors an ur­gent mat­ter.

Along with Mal­lett, an­other for­mer Spring­bok, Brendan Ven­ter, has been tipped as a pos­si­ble suit­able can­di­date.

How­ever, like Mal­lett, Ven­ter has voiced un­cer­tainty about his avail­abil­ity if he were con­sid­ered.

“I would first have to know what it in­volves,” said the doc­tor from his home in the Strand, Cape Town.

“I am now in full-time prac­tice.”

The com­mit­tee would also make rec­om­men­da­tions this week on Heyneke Meyer’s suc­ces­sor as coach.

It is still ex­pected that Al­lis­ter Coetzee will be ap­pointed as the Boks’ coach un­til af­ter the 2019 World Cup in Ja­pan, with Jo­hann van Graan hav­ing al­ready been ap­pointed as a mem­ber of the man­age­ment team.

Rassie Eras­mus and mem­bers of his mo­bile unit at Saru, like Jac­ques Nien­aber, will con­tinue to play an im­por­tant role.

Eras­mus was asked by Saru’s gen­eral coun­cil in De­cem­ber to han­dle all the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Bok coach in the in­terim un­til an ap­point­ment is made.

It is also ex­pected that he could be ap­pointed as in­terim coach for the tests against Ire­land, and some pres­i­dents re­gard him as a suit­able can­di­date to be Meyer’s suc­ces­sor.


NO THANKS For­mer Bok coach Nick Mal­lett has ruled him­self out as a can­di­date for na­tional selec­tor

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